Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘Destined Prisoner’ and other poems

By: Jim Jas

Photo by Ron Lach on

Destined Prisoner

I’m an addict.
I’m an addict to anxiety and stress.
I’m an addict to laughter and dancing.
I’m an addict.

To you.
To me.
To everything in between.

I’m just like everyone else.
Just another human being stuck in uncertainty.
Unaware of beginnings and endings.
Powerless in space.

There is nothing as emotionally investing
as fear.
It roots everything. Deep.
Takes a while to find, to untangle.

Then, once we get to look inside.
We can’t even believe our own thoughts.
Who gave them birth? Who keeps them alive?

It’s easy to get burned and not return.
To avoid the fire.
To avoid the pain.

Yet the cloud keeps growing.
And then we are back.
Without control.


Exposure Relapse

I stand at the platform.
The squared stones are running uneven and wild in all directions underneath me.
I stare straight into the dark, unpredictable tunnel, seemingly endless of fear.
I hear the next train coming. It sounds fast. It sounds sharp.
The bell rings my ear out. It sends the vibrations straight down to my legs.
I almost fall.

The nautioness comes as expected.
When the train doors open, my heart goes into next gear.
I can see everyone. Seemingly untroubled, relaxed, good-looking. So self-assured.
I know they don’t want me there.

The doors close and I watch the monster swallow each and every carriage,
finally turning the train’s life out.
I look down at the tracks.
It seems like an easy solution.

Yet another announcement hits my way.
Something is delayed and I agree.
I just know I don’t belong.

More and more people fill up the remaining space.
I shrink down, almost flat to the floor.
My fingers and toes said goodbye a few trains ago.
Just the necessary shit left.
Whatever keeps me here.

“This next one I will catch”. “Even though I have no hands, I will get this one”.
All the years of no experience presents a reminder of what to do.
The weight of the wait is always worse.

I follow the white lines as they try to run away too.
I check them over and over again.
“Who would ever do this to themselves?”
“What is the reward compared to the sacrifice?”

I imagine the tunneled darkness has now run up the escalator
to bury the day and embrace its younger brother.
I can see myself pass into it, forgotten.

The exposure seems pointless as I sit down next to someone
on the wooden bench. It feels like it’s right in the middle,
right where everyone is looking.
I feel so damaged. Weak and sick.
I know the younger self would be disappointed.
The one who dared so much.
The one who was free.
He dressed differently too.
Was in better shape.
Was loved.
“What can I even offer anymore?”
“Who would want to pick this up?”

The clock’s shorter hand has caught up.
“Yet another failed one.”
“How many is that now?”

I watch the last train arrive. It actually seems more empty.
And the lights are not as bright as before.
“There is an empty seat right there”.
“Next to that girl, I could belong. She looks pretty good”.

The doors stand stuck.
Like they are waiting for something.
Or maybe someone.

The operator looks at me.
He raises his remote.
Points his thumb upwards.
What’s it gonna be?


About time someone puts it straight

I’m wrestling an invisible beast,
internally chained.
Nothing from the outside can pierce it.
No medicine, no psychology, no spirituality.

I’m just alone.
With a challenge.
Like so many have been before.
And so many more will be.

It’s just that no one dares to say,
“You are alone”. “It’s only up to you.”
We think we are smarter, more caring, more unified.
But we often do not care about strangers.
Not even if it’s in our profession.

The connection is missing.
The one that makes you sacrifice,
The one that makes you think twice.

So I only ask that we stop to pretend.
Enough people are yawning already.
Don’t put us to sleep.

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